SINGAPORE – Video game giant Ubisoft has opened a larger studio at one-north, spread across three storeys, for its 450 game developers and employees, coinciding with its 15th year operating in Singapore.

The studio will focus on the development of titles in the popular Assassin’s Creed series, as well as the naval action video game Skull And Bones – the first big-budget title led by Ubisoft Singapore – among other projects.

The French game publisher will cast a wider net to nurture and capture talent here by increasing its training programmes, including an introductory video game development course.

The programme, which is being discussed with Nanyang Polytechnic, will be designed to provide gaming enthusiasts with basic knowledge of the skills needed to make games, Ubisoft Singapore human resource director Desiree Tan told The Straits Times at the studio’s launch on Thursday.

The course will be run over a few days and will offer “a more hands-on and experiential” learning environment for up to 25 people each time, said Ms Tan.

Ubisoft will also partner creative media institution 3dsense Media School to teach courses on concept art, visual effects and animation specific to Ubisoft’s workflow.

Ubisoft Singapore managing director Darryl Long said the programmes are not just for the purpose of recruitment, but also to build talent in Singapore.

“To build a successful gaming industry in the country, you need a solid foundation of talent that can train new incoming talent.

“The video game industry is still seen by parents and many as a niche industry, but that’s really not the case anymore… It employs thousands of people and it’s a $200 billion-a-year industry,” he said.

With new training and recruitment initiatives, and the revamped studio, Ubisoft deepens its roots here as Singapore recently announced its intent to be a regional hub for gaming, to tap South-east Asia’s video gaming market which is worth US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) and has 270 million gamers.

The video games sector was the fastest-growing field driving the nation’s digital economy in recent years, according to a report published by the Infocomm Media Development Authority in October.

Ubisoft is among the largest game developers that have set up shop here. Its Singapore team has expanded from a handful in 2008 to a staff of 450, and around 800 Singaporean gaming talents have contributed to Ubisoft’s video games in that time.

Nearly 150 interns from local institutions have been hired by Ubisoft Singapore.

The new three-floor premises at the Solaris building in one-north will serve as a gaming production hub for Ubisoft to build games and is equipped with studios for games testing, sound engineering and collaborative spaces for its staff. 

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